Monday, March 3, 2014

My Latest Barre Crawl and the Science Behind the Lalas!

I'm sick. I'm a sick woman. I know this. Last month, I drove three hours to Scarsdale, NY to use my free Physique 57 class. People thought I was nuts, especially since I paid the cost of the class in gas and tolls, but I didn't care. I couldn't pass up a free class. And in my economy, it was totally worth it.

Well, I did it again. Except this time, I dragged my entire family from San Diego to Los Angeles to go to Physique 57 Beverly Hills!
I think I've mentioned that I'm on a pilgrimmage to visit all of Physique's studios. I've hit all three in Manhattan, the one in Scarsdale and now LA. All I have left is Bridgehampton and DUBAI. Right--the one in the Middle East. I'm not sure that's ever going to happen, unless I start entering travel contests.

As an East Coaster, I forget that everything isn't as close together on the West Coast as it is here. I live in Massachusetts. You can get from one end of the state to the other in three hours. Tops. I figured San Diego and LA are not only both in California, they're in southern California. How far apart could they be? I mean, really?

Two hours and forty-five minutes, actually, plus traffic, which in SoCal is notorious. My Darling Husband actually consented to spend an entire day of our vacation for this. We left at 7am and got back to San Diego at 4.30pm. (We stopped for meals. And potty breaks.) He took the small people to the Beverly Hills post office while I got my sweat on. The DH is a wonderful man. And I am insane.

But it was totally worth it!! LALALALA!!!!

The whole thing was wonderful, from friendly Michelle at the front desk to the final stretch, I loved it. I signed up for a mixed level with Chloe. It was awesome!! She was awesome. The pushups, the waterski, the flat-back chair, the thigh dancing, it was all awesome!

All of this contributed to major post-barre lalas, which is just Stephanie-speak for endorphins. Really, I get the most extraordinary endorphin rush from a good barre workout--more than any other type of exercise I have ever done in my life. And I've done lots of different kinds of exercise. This led me to wonder... what is it about barre? Why are the lalas sooo intense? So I did a little bit of my world-famous exhaustive internet

Everything You Never Wanted to Know About the Lalas

Endorphins are chemicals that your body produces as a response to certain stimuli. Food and sex are a couple of the more pleasant prompts for endorphin production, but another initiator is pain. Your body will stimulate an endorphin response to ease pain. In fact, many women who have natural childbirths say it hurt--a LOT--but they experienced absolute euphoria immediately afterwards. I wouldn't know because I took the drugs, but that's what I'm told.

In exercise terms, endorphin production has been found to be highest in anaerobic activities--those that get you to seriously suck wind. Researchers have found that light-to-moderate exercise does not produce endorphins. I'm not saying light exercise doesn't have benefits--it just won't give you lalas.

Obviously, you want to seek out the good pain--the burning, the shaking, the quaking--to get your lala fix. Sharp pain is not your friend, so please stop if you feel bad pain. But don't be afraid of the burn/shake/quake. That's where the lalas live. It's a very happy place! Once I get there I'm so blissed out... it's beautiful, and I love it there. The only problem is the amount of energy I have to expend to ensure I haven't left my phone, my keys, my wallet, etc. I would be a very easy target for the Artful Dodger and his minions after a toasty barre class, and my visit to Physique 57 Beverly Hills was no exception.
With the small people in the lobby after class. Don't I look happy? Lalala!

The other really fun thing about this class was my barre-mate--none other than Fox sportscaster Erin Andrews, who is a huge Physique fan.
Erin appeared in one of Physique's online videos. She's their it-girl, and it kind of rounded out my whole crazy Physique 57 love-fest. I think Erin must have a very fun life. She lives near a Physique studio, she was in a video, and she had great seats at Fenway when the Sox won the World Series.

Of course, I marched right up to her at the end and introduced myself. I figured if we got all sweaty together, the least we could do is have a little chat. I've become very bold since I had children. My small people are very friendly and will talk to anyone. In fact, they accosted poor Chloe on the way out and told her all about the post office.

Erin and I gushed about our love for founder Tanya Becker and all things Physique. Lalala... the endorphins were flowing freely and all was right with the world.
"Look Mommy! We need to go to Bridgehampton next. I bet they have a post office."

Or maybe, Dubai? How do you say 'lalala' in arabic??

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